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Cuba

If the U.S. wants to keep the Summit of the Americas process on track and regain some measure of influence in the hemisphere, it will have to change its Cuba policy, pronto.

While USAID programs in Cuba have unfortunately been wrapped up in an utterly unproductive, unprecedented and politically clumsy policy, they are still within the normal scope of traditional democracy programs.

This week’s top stories: USAID is accused of running a secret program in Cuba; Mexican energy reform passes in the lower house; U.S. Republicans pass immigration bills before recess; the value of the Argentine peso drops over debt woes; a bridge in Montería, Colombia collapses.

<i>Will warming Cuba-EU ties open up U.S.- Cuba relations? Yes</i>
<i>Will warming Cuba-EU ties open up U.S.- Cuba relations? No</i>

Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a two-day tour of Cuba last night, stirring hopes that the China will invest heavily in Cuba’s developing economy.

This week’s likely top stories: Argentine negotiates with holdout creditors; Russia’s Vladimir Putin will visit Cuba, Argentina and Brazil; Italy investigates dictatorship-era murders; an earthquake hits Mexico and Guatemala; and Honduran authorities search for eight missing miners.

Manuel Cuesta Mora, a Cuban human rights activist who requested a visa from his government to travel to the same LASA conference, was denied by the Cuban government.

Cuban dissident Yoani Sánchez launched 14ymedio, an online-only newspaper, on Wednesday morning. The outlet is meant to be an alternative to the state-controlled media, but Sánchez said that it will not serve as a platform to criticize the government.

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